Compassion Is The Key To Long Term Change

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I Heart MeHave you ever just not wanted to go to the gym but thought “I don’t want to but if I don’t get my minutes in, I won’t lose weight this week?” What about eating tuna, chicken and steamed veggies while thinking “Gah, I just want a burger and fries but I can’t.” I want to talk to you about something that’s very near and dear to me because I lived it so many many times.

You cannot make long lasting changes when you approach it from hating your body, desperation, or feeling like you have to make a change. You can absolutely start out with this mindset and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what gets most of us started on our journey, so definitely use it to get your foot in the door. If you keep it with this approach however, at some point it will end.

For some of us, the end takes longer than others. You have those that start for New Years and are done by February. The obsessive perfectionist me who refused to give up took a couple years before crashing and burning. I see it in clients and potential clients from competitors trying to make a show date to those with a lot of weight they want to get off and everywhere in between.

If you make changes from a negative approach, you will end up disappointed. The scale, measurements, or body fat won’t move at some point and you’ll get upset. You’ll force yourself to workout when you don’t necessarily want to. You’ll pound out cardio and add more. You’ll diet harder or eat cleaner. It’s like a pendulum. The harder you pull in one direction, the more you swing in the other.

Hardcore anything coming from a place of dislike or desperation doesn’t end well. (By the way, this isn’t only with health and fitness.) So what does work then? Approach your changes like you would with a friend – with objective interest, compassion, even experimentally. Ask questions and see what your answers are.

  • If I eat this, how does it make me feel?
  • If I have another bite, am I going to be uncomfortably full?
  • Is there something that I can do to make this taste better?
  • If I do this workout, what happens with my body?
  • If I could pick any movement that sounds like fun, what would it be?

Ask questions and consider the answers without judgment. If you eat a burger and it makes you want a nap, don’t beat yourself up and declare you never should have eaten it. Learn and follow up with a question of what food will make you feel great. Do more of the things that give you positive answers and results, and less of the ones that don’t.

You don’t have to eliminate the ones that don’t but I promise you that you’ll surely want to do them less often. When I started playing around in the gym and asking myself how I felt after, my workouts changed drastically. The crazed supersets exhausted me and didn’t make me feel good. Doing straight sets gave me energy for the rest of my day so I did them more in my workouts and body changes happened.

I know you’re thinking this is crazy but if you keep an open mind and truly approach it in steps like this, you’ll learn so much about what works and what doesn’t. You’ll be more relaxed in your approach so that you continue it consistently. You’ll do more of what makes you feel good and less of what doesn’t. Things will begin to naturally align with your thoughts, your health, your body, your weight.

Your answers will change over time as your body and your life changes as well. Things that make you feel good in your 30s might not in your 60s. Your workouts won’t always be what they are today as your goals and needs change. If you keep asking questions, the learning process morphs with you. It’s a pretty cool adventure through life if you ask me. 🙂

Coaching is a learning process through asking questions, making you think, identifying roadblocks, and making lasting changes. If you’re interested in working with me and seeing the coaching process in action, I’d love to chat. You can also read what clients have to say about working with me and the changes they’re making.

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